Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mountain plants unable to withstand invasion

22.01.2010
An international research team has studied the distribution of plant species in mountainous environments. The study shows that mountain plant communities are not particularly resistant to invasion by exotic species. The scientists also warn that these may become more aggressive as global warming gets a grip.

In 2005, scientists from various science centres in Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, the United States and Chile created the Mountain Invasion Research Unit (MIREN) in order to study the distribution of exotic species in high mountain species and to design experiments to confirm the invasive capacity of certain species in high mountain environments.

"These plant communities in Alpine environments have until now not been thought particularly vulnerable to this kind of environmental disturbance", José Ramón Arévalo, one of the authors of the study and a researcher at the Department of Ecology of the University of La Laguna, tells SINC. However, the experiments show clearly "that the beliefs about this supposed protection and mountain species' resistance to invasive species is erroneous", he adds.

The study, published recently in Frontiers in Ecology and The Environment, and which is part of the work done by MIREN, has made it possible to identify the factors that make plants in these areas more vulnerable to invasion by other species.

Among other factors, the scientists stress the ease of movement of propagules (plants which can reproduce asexually in order to produce new plants) as a result of human activity and the increase in environmental disturbance, the low levels of biological resistance of invaded plant communities, the increase in transport between high mountain areas that are far apart from each other, and the risks according to climate change models, "which will make it easier for invasive plants to establish themselves and reproduce", the ecologist explains.

A work agenda to stem invasions

The work carried out over the last five years shows that "invasions may be a factor in more extensive and serious disturbance than had ever been thought", says Arévalo. The scientists also say there is a need to establish a work agenda to evaluate "not only current invasions, but also those that could happen in the future in mountainous environments", warns the researcher.

Protecting against and above all preventing invasions could be done by means of experimental and modelling work. Arévalo says "biological invasion is not a fact, but rather a process of species overlapping within a habitat, which means prevention is much more effective and viable than eradication".

References:

Pauchard, Anibal; Kueffer, Christoph; Dietz, Hansjoerg; Daehler, Curtis C.; Alexander, Jake; Edwards, Peter J.; Arévalo, José Ramón; Cavieres, Lohengrin A.; Guisan, Antoine; Haider, Sylvia; Jakobs, Gabi; McDougall, Keith; Millar, Constance I.; Naylor, Bridgett J.; Parks, Catherine G.; Rew, Lisa J.; Seipel, Tim. "Ain't no mountain high enough: plant invasions reaching new elevations" Frontiers in Ecology and The Environment 7(9): 479-486 noviembre de 2009.

SINC | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.plataformasinc.es

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Upcycling 'fast fashion' to reduce waste and pollution
03.04.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA's Fermi catches gamma-ray flashes from tropical storms

25.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers invent process to make sustainable rubber, plastics

25.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Transfecting cells gently – the LZH presents a GNOME prototype at the Labvolution 2017

25.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>